Lynne's new role

25th July 2008 at 01:00

Congratulations to Lynne Sedgmore, chief executive of the Centre for Excellence in Leadership.

As the sun sets on the CEL, instead of spending well-earned time off to polish her Volvo down in Surrey, or retreating to her native Stoke-on- Trent, she has agreed to become executive director of the 157 Group of large, successful colleges.

The group's new chairman is Graham Moore, principal of Stoke on Trent College.

I understand that Lynne will be mounting a cuddle offensive towards the Association of Colleges (AoC), which is still a bit put out by the new outfit's apparent elitism: 157 earned a reputation for being taken seriously by ministers - the implication being that the AoC wasn't - and was formed on the basis that size counts. Small colleges need not apply.

Could it be that 157 is feeling vulnerable now that the AoC is re- inventing itself?

The AoC's new chief executive, former RAF officer Martin Doel, has plenty of contacts of his own, having been training supremo at the Ministry of Defence.

I suspect 157 and the AoC will soon speak with one voice. With Lynne in the process of recruiting a PA - increasing 157's staffing strength to two - the outfit is outgunned by the old war dogs of the AoC and may be hoping that size doesn't count after all.

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